Paula Radcliffe has nothing to prove by contesting the New York City Marathon, insists her best friend and fellow distance runner Liz Yelling.
Radcliffe makes her competitive comeback in next Sunday's race after failing to finish both the marathon and the 10,000m at the Athens Olympics.
"People should not expect anything of Paula," Yelling told BBC Sport. "She is competing in New York for herself.
"She needs to get back to racing and doing what she loves most - running."
Radcliffe went into the Olympic marathon as favourite for the title but dropped out just 3.2 miles before the finish line.
The 30-year-old has dismissed suggestions she is using the race in New York to erase her double disappointment at the August Games.
And Yelling argues Radcliffe is simply doing what all athletes do when things do not go to plan - moving on and setting new targets.
"Paula wanted that Olympic gold medal more than anyone else and she wanted it for herself," Yelling said.
"Everyone, including me, expected her to do it.
"But Paula didn't achieve her goals in Athens and she wasn't ready to rest physically or mentally.
"She didn't want to waste the fitness and so she has decided to crack on.
"Before Paula was really famous this is what she would have chosen to do anyway.
"I'm back in racing but it will probably go unnoticed. If I was as high profile as Paula and finished halfway down the field, people would have something to say about it."
Yelling finished an excellent 25th in the Athens marathon at only her second attempt over the distance.
And though she is taking it a bit easier after her exertions in Athens she believes Radcliffe has made the right decision by racing in New York.
"Paula is only going to do New York and then she's going to have a rest after that," Yelling explained.
"I have spoken to her and she's really upbeat.
"She's excited about racing again and really looking forward to it. I think she'll be fine."